Success comes and goes, but integrity is forever!
Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. It takes courage at times to do the right thing. Sometimes the consequences of doing the right thing can be brutal. It wasn’t easy for those who stood up for the Jews during WWII, nor was it easy for those who stood up for the rights of all during the early days of the Civil Rights movement. The initial rewards may be the knowledge that you can live with yourself because you stood up for what you believed in.
Building a reputation of integrity takes years. Yet it takes only a second to lose it! Never allow yourself to ever do anything that would damage your integrity.
We live in a world where integrity isn’t talked about nearly enough. We live in a world where “the end justifies the means” has become an acceptable school of thought for far too many. Sales people overpromise and under deliver, all in the name of making their quota for the month. Applicants exaggerate in job interviews because they desperately need a job. Partners tell a white lie because telling the truth may start an unpleasant argument. Customer service representatives cover up a mistake they made because they are afraid the client will leave them. Employees call in “sick” because they don’t have any more paid time off when they actually just need to get their Christmas shopping done. The list could go on and on, and in each case the person committing the act of dishonesty told themselves they had a perfectly valid reason why the end result justified their lack of integrity.
Sometimes people think they can get ahead or gain power quickly and easily if they just cut a few corners and act ‘outside the constraints of morality’. Dishonesty may provide instant gratification in the short term, but it never lasts. I had one person who was close to me who told a series of white lies to keep in my good graces. Eventually, of course, I wised up to his white lies. When I realized I couldn’t believe anything he told me, it undermined our relationship. It disintegrated because there was nothing left to hold it together.
People will be able to get so far without integrity, but eventually the truth will be found out. Then that person has lost their ability to be trusted. Integrity is the most valuable quality anyone can have in their life. Profit in dollars or power is temporary, but profit in a network of people who trust you as a person of integrity is forever.
Every individual who trusts you will spread the word to at least a few of their friends, family members and associates – the word of your character will spread like wildfire. The value of the trust others have in you is immeasurable. For entrepreneurs it means investors that are willing to trust them with their money. For employees it means a manager or a boss that is willing to trust them with additional responsibility and growth opportunities. For companies it means customers that trust giving them more and more business. For you it means having an assortment of people that are willing to go the extra mile to help you because they know that recommending you to others will never bring damage to their own reputation of integrity. Yes, the value of the trust others have in YOU goes beyond anything that can be measured. It goes beyond immediate success because it opens doors to more opportunities and endless possibilities.
Speaking your truth and standing up for what is right can be challenging and take courage. If you need help with stepping into your power and potential please contact Joy today for a complimentary 30 minute consultation. Email Joy or call Joy today at 415-819-8769.
Adapted from a Forbes article by Amy Rees Anderson